Why Give?


Bob & Pat Priest in front of the first pharmacy in the 1960s
Bob & Pat Priest in front of the first pharmacy in the 1960s

Linda Welsh

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My father, Bob Priest was a pharmacist.  Back in 1964, he decided to move our family to Pemberton and open the first pharmacy.  At that time, the population within the village boundaries was 217.  This was before we even had a doctor living in town.  Once per week, a doctor would arrive by train from Squamish to meet patients in our small health centre that was built in the late 1950’s.  If there was an emergency on any other day, there was the option to go either to Squamish or Lillooet depending which direction the next train or speeder was heading.  This was the norm until Dr. Moody moved his family here in 1969 and we finally had a full time resident doctor.
Dad and Dr. Moody were very instrumental in lobbying the provincial government in Victoria for funding for a new health centre for our growing community.  In 1976, their hard work paid off and the Pemberton Health Care Centre opened its doors.
What are your thoughts on health care in Pemberton? 
I feel like we are incredibly fortunate to have what we have. I’ve heard from so many other people how difficult it is to simply get a doctor’s appointment. This hasn’t ever been the case for us. 
The reality is, however, that Pemberton has grown significantly and continues to grow. The health care centre needs a bigger facility and emergency area to accommodate our growing population. 
Judith Walton

Judith Walton

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My husband Derek and I bought our home here in Pemberton in 2008 and moved to the community full-time just before the Olympics. We’re in our 70’s now and want to stay here in the community for as long as we can. We love it here.
What do you love about Pemberton? 
We love that we can walk to everything and the many volunteer opportunities that exist in the community. Derek and I are pleased to have been involved with many organizations in Pemberton including the Sea to Sky Community Services, the Pemberton and District Public Library, the Pemberton Valley Men’s Shed and much more.
Do you have a story for us that you can share? 
My daughter from out of town had a hip replacement and was recovering here with us in Pemberton. She needed to get the staples removed but was struggling to get a doctor from her community to remove them. I suggested that we go to the emergency hospital here in town. We showed up, and they gladly removed the staples. We were in and out within 20 minutes. This kind of service doesn’t happen in many places. We are very lucky.
Why do you think health care is important in our community? 
Our community has grown so much in recent years and our health care centre needs more room. The clinic has the staff, but not enough room. The equipment is aging. I believe that people deserve to age in place. We need a facility that can help do that for us.

Kayla Cameron

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a 10-year resident of Pemberton. My husband and I have two young children. We love living here and do what we can to contribute to this beautiful community.
How important is health care to your family?
As a mother of young children, health care is very important to my husband and I. Our family is so grateful for the incredible and kind team of healthcare workers and lab technicians that we have in our community. We access health care regularly. Once, my son was a baby and diagnosed with RSV. After making an appointment online, we met with a resident physician who took the utmost care of our baby, listened to our concerns and weighed the risks carefully. Under his direction, we went to emergency the next day to monitor his symptoms. The doctor connected with Lions Gate Hospital who suggested that he be admitted for observation in case things went sideways. Fortunately, things worked out, but it was definitely a scary time. Our experience from the beginning to the end was nothing short of amazing, however, it was a reminder of how critical it is living in a rural community, to have a well-equipped healthcare centre and accessible healthcare. 
Lorne Warburton © Courtesy of VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation
Lorne Warburton © Courtesy of VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation

Lorne Warburton

Battling hantavirus

Lorne had always been a healthy guy. Even entering his 50s, he had long kept physically fit.

In mid-March 2023, Lorne started to feel sick—body aches, low energy, and headaches—but he thought nothing much of it other than perhaps it was COVID-19. He tested for that a couple of times, but it was negative. After a few days, he moved on and went on vacation with his family to Mexico.

“It just, it felt normal, really,” said Lorne. “Then we got home and got back to normal, everyday life. And then the body aches and pains came back.”

Lorne can recall waking up that fateful Saturday in March, barely able to move and breathe and completely drenched in sweat. He had his wife, Anna, immediately drive to their local clinic in Pemberton, B.C., where he experienced one of the most harrowing experiences someone can have.

Lorne had entered the Pemberton Clinic already in septic shock. His organs were starting to fail. His oxygen levels were life-threateningly low. And no one could exactly explain why.

Thankfully, the team at Pemberton Clinic knew what steps to take for someone in Lorne’s state, thanks to protocols Dr. Sweet helped establish. He was immediately flown to another hospital for treatment unavailable at a local clinic. Here, Lorne went into cardiac arrest for 11 minutes. The team followed the next steps on the protocol and decided Lorne needed more help for his complex condition, specifically the donor-funded ECMO—a vital heart and lung machine—and skills only available at VGH.

Read more of Lorne’s VGH/UBC story here

Surviving Hantavirus | Lorne’s Story | VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation


The Pemberton & District Health Care Foundation works thoughtfully in conjunction with other fundraising organizations in the Sea to Sky Corridor to raise the level of healthcare for all and to help our community access important equipment locally. 
Some of the equipment that the PDHCF has helped contribute toward purchasing includes: